Cover photo for Leann House's Obituary
Leann House Profile Photo
1953 Leann 2021

Leann House

September 1, 1953 — June 11, 2021

Duluth, MN

Delpha LeAnn House, 67, of Duluth, MN, passed away on June 11, 2021.

LeAnn led a life filled with the creation and appreciation of beauty, caring for the planet and the needs of her community. The same hands that brought life to Beethoven piano sonatas worked in the First United Methodist Church kitchen producing hundreds of pies for the CHUM Rhubarb Festival. She mastered the complexities of music theory as she did those of her farming and other administrations at home and at work. She captured the subtleties of music as she admired the subtleties in the natural world. Love for her family overflowed as did her devotion to her students and subsequent interest in their lives. LeAnn fought a battle with neuroendocrine cancer that can truly be called epic, having lasted for nine years. Throughout, she lived with joy and playfulness amid hardship and always looked for the silver linings at every stage of the journey.

LeAnn was born on September 1, 1953 in Goodland, Kansas to Harlan B. and Freda (Gemmer) House. She was the Valedictorian of the Goodland High School Class of 1971.  She received a Bachelor of Music in applied piano, summa cum laude, with a minor in German from Kansas State University in 1975. She earned a Master of Music degree in applied piano (1978), an M.A. in musicology (1983), and a Ph.D. in musicology (1991) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined the faculty of the College of St. Scholastica in 1978, served as Music Department Chair for many years, and won the Lavine Award for Excellence in Teaching before her retirement in 2017. As a scholar, she authored annotated publications of keyboard pieces by Handel and other Baroque composers. She advocated for the arts in the Duluth community through her leadership in Matinee Musicale, Cecilians, and as Music Director for the Minnesota Ballet. For her years of service to the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, she was recognized posthumously as the inaugural MMTA Foundation State Fellow.

LeAnn is survived by her husband of 34 years, Shelley Gruskin; her daughters, Rebecca Gruskin (Ivan Bochkov) and Johanna Gruskin; her brother, Harlan D. (Cora) House; her sisters, Lorna (Leonard) Nelson and Linda (Gerald) Franklin; many nieces and nephews; and other loving relatives and friends.

We are profoundly grateful to the wonderfully helpful staff at Essentia Health, particularly to Dr. Daniel Nikcevich and APRN Anne Skwira-Brown for their seemingly bottomless well of compassion and professional skill. Similarly, to Dr. Axel Grothey at the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Randall Millikan. It is hard to imagine having sustained this journey without their devoted service.

A graveside service for LeAnn will be held on Monday, June 28, 2021 at 10:00 AM MT at the Goodland Cemetery, Goodland, KS.  In lieu of flowers and in honor of her music, memorials may be sent to the Duluth First United Methodist Church Organ Fund at 230 E. Skyline Parkway, Duluth, MN 55811.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leann House, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Monday, June 28, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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